Have you trained your gut?

I’m talking about that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you know something isn’t quite right. I’m talking about how you feel like you can float on air when something terrific happens.
Your gut can tell you a lot about your life, but how can you apply it to improving your sales skills? Reliable gut instinct is a powerful tool in sales, but is it something you’re born with, or can you develop it? I believe you can train your gut, and what’s more, you need to. Here’s why.

 Why your gut is important

Sales is a fast-moving industry. You have to think on your feet. You need to make decisions that can have powerful consequences to your income, in split-seconds.
Are these prospects worth spending time with? What product is right for them? How much should I charge them? Should I accept their counter offer? How should I best overcome this objection?
It would be great to be able to refer to comprehensive data when you’re making these decisions, but you don’t have the time. You need to go on gut instinct.
The better your gut instinct is, the better decisions you’ll make.
How to develop your gut
Luckily, there are several ways you can develop your gut instinct.

 1 – Experience

The great South African golfer, Gary Player, memorably said. ‘The harder I practice, the luckier I get.’ Sure, he was talking about golf, but the same applies to sales. The more you put yourself into situations where you have to rely on your gut, the better your gut will become.

2 – Become better at reading people

When you’re selling, be more analytical about how you read people. Don’t just see what you want to see, or hear what you want to hear. Look for the signs. Listen to their tone of voice, not just what they say. Look at their body language. These signs help point your gut in the right direction.

3 – Be empathetic

Following on from looking for non-verbal signs, go one step further and practice putting yourself in the shoes of your prospect. Think about what you would do in their situation. Your gut can tell you whether, if you were in their position, you would buy your product.

4 – Learn from your mistakes

Making mistakes is part of gaining experience. Everyone gets things wrong, but the more mistakes you make, the better your gut will be at seeing them coming.

5 – Take chances

Your gut may point you one way, while your head points you another. The best salespeople aren’t afraid to take risks, to be creative. Trying out new ideas strengthens your gut instinct. You will become better at knowing a good idea when you see one.

6 – Slow down

As you train your gut to instantly kick in when you need it, give it time to develop. Slow your life down so you can hear what your gut is saying to you. If you’re in a tricky sales situation, take a break. Go for a quick walk, on your own, without your phone. Reflect, and listen to the voice inside. It will point you in the right direction.

7 – Trust your gut

If your gut is trying to tell you something, there’s always a good reason behind it. If you make a decision your gut instantly knows is the wrong one, and your stomach sinks, listen to your gut. It’s your primal instinct kicking in trying to keep you safe. As you develop and gain experience, your gut will be right more often than not. Trust it.


As well-trained as your gut instinct is, your prospective clients are listening to their guts as they judge you and your company. Make sure you present a great impression. Be open, warm and honest. Don’t give their guts a reason to question you.
To a sales leader, the gut is as important as the ears and mouth. Make sure your gut is bulging, with power.
Your turn now, when has your gut led you in the right direction, against all sensible advice? Do you have any tips on how to develop your gut? Leave a comment to let us know.
Become a sales leader at www.salesconfidence.co/blog

About the Author

James Ski works for Linkedin and advises companies on recruitment, employer branding and how to achieve scalable, predictable sales growth.
If you would like to be first to read his published posts focused on sales confidence sign up to his blog here
You can also follow him on Linkedin or on Twitter @jamesas
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